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Want a partner? 93% of Singaporeans say good money management is attractive: Survey

Young Asian couple enjoying a lunch date in an outdoor restaurant, sharing and eating freshly served pizza. Having a relaxing afternoon. Eating out lifestyle
Investing and dating have more in common than we think. (PHOTO: Getty Creative)

SINGAPORE — Investing and dating have more in common than we think.

About 93 per cent of Singaporeans find good money management to be an attractive quality in a potential partner, according to a survey by dating application Coffee Meets Bagel and investment platform Syfe.

The survey, "Love Meets Money", polled 1,363 respondents through the dating app in June and looked at attitudes towards money, such as bill etiquette and expectations around career and earnings when it comes to a potential long-term partner. About 47 per cent of participants are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Results from the survey show that conversations on money, together with a person's values and attitudes toward their finances, are key factors which highly influence dating outcomes among Singaporeans.

When to talk about money

More than two in three respondents believe it is a turnoff to bring up the topic of money on a first date. This perspective varies with age. About 58 per cent of those age 35 and above believe that one should not talk about money on first dates, compared with only 40 per cent of those below 35.

Interestingly, 44 per cent of respondents feel that it is appropriate to ask for someone's salary before becoming a couple, while three in five Singaporeans would share salary information within the first five dates.

The results also show that about 32 per cent believe that the most appropriate time to have a conversation about money is either the period before defining the relationship or when couples get into a serious relationship. Almost all agree that it is too late to have the important money conversations only at the point of marriage or moving in together.

Who pays?

The survey shows that two in five women believe that men should pay, and similarly, two in five men believe that they should pay. About 30 per cent believe that the bill should be split on the first date. Less than 1 per cent think that women should pay for the first date.

When it comes to those aged 35 and above, more than half, both male and female, believe that it is the men that should pay.

Interestingly, about 51 per cent of women and 24 per cent of the men surveyed said that they would be offended if they offered to pay and the other person did not offer to split the bill. The appropriate amount of money to spend on a date is S$90 on average.

Career and appearances

The survey also found that three in five women prefer that their partner make more money than them. Seventy per cent of men think it does not matter how much their partner makes, and 23 per cent prefer to make a similar amount.

"The findings have shown the crucial role that money plays when meeting potential life partners, and the importance for individuals to be better equipped with knowledge on personal finances and investing," said Sebastian Sieber, the chief marketing officer of Syfe.

While values are the most important overall, women and men differ when defining the second most important criteria.

The top criteria of Singapore women when it comes to picking a partner are values (87 per cent), career (56 per cent), appearance (53 per cent) and hobbies/interests (53 per cent).

For Singapore men, the top criteria are values (88 per cent), appearance (79 per cent), hobbies/interests (73 per cent), age (51 per cent).

Other options provided include societal status, age, religion, property and car ownership.

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